Richard Alexandra Ware
Specialist Five
B CO, 65TH ENG BN, 25TH INF DIV, USARV
Army of the United States
Bay Springs, Mississippi
November 22, 1946 to August 24, 1968
RICHARD A WARE is on the Wall at Panel W46, Line 10

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Richard A Ware
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It started with a short request from his sister to post his photo. "This is my brother. Thank you. God Bless all of you involved in this loving project."

---  Gail Randolph, August 9, 2012.

As more emails were exchanged, the details of the life and loss of Richard Alexandra "Dickie" Ware were revealed by the family. One of the first notices of Richard's death appearing in a local paper was:

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On Saturday, August 31, the Leader-Call paper of Laurel, Mississippi posted a notice of funeral for the funeral on Monday September 2, 1968. It read: "Full military services for SP5 Richard A. (DIckie) Ware, 21, a resident of Bay Springs who was killed in action in Vietnam, will be held Monday at 3 p.m. from Bay Springs Methodist Church. The Reverands Fred Thompson, James Williamson, and T. Barton West will officiate with burial in Bay Springs Cemetery. He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Elmon Ware, Bay Springs; and two sisters, Misses Mary and Gail Ware of Bay Springs. Memory Chapel of Bay Springs is in charge of arrangements."

As part of funeral preparation, the family had a photo medalion prepared for the family which also appears on his grave maker in the Bay Springs Cemetery.

Family Medalion Photo

Grave Marker Medalion

Following the funeral, the papers in the area posted a notice like:

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Richard "Dickie" Ware's marker in the Bay Springs Cemetary. Approximately two and a half years later, Dickie's father, a veteran of world War II, also a Corporal, passed away and was buried in Bay Springs Cemetery with his son.

Grave Marker

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The Virtual Wall learned from the family that he received a Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Service shortly after his death and another for heroism later that was submitted by his friend and Company Commander, then 1st Lieutenant Jim Barry. The Bronze Star for Meritorious Service was recorded with The Virtual Wall and they are working with the family to record information for the second award for Valor. Citations for both awards are next below.

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Below is a family provided newspaper article about the circumstances surrounding the death of Dickie Ware in Vietnam as described in the Citation for his Bronze Star for Herosim. The article was published some time after the signing of his award in December 1968. In addition to the Bronze Star, Dickie was awarded the Purple Heart for the wounds that ultimately led to his death.

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The January 16, 1969 edition of the Leader-Call of Laurel announced:

"Bay Springs, Miss Thursday, January 23, at 10 a.m. in the high school auditorium in Bay Springs, Jasper County Post No. 71 will officially be dedicated Richard A. Ware Post No. 71, The American Legion, and a new charter will be presented to post officials by Department Commander Willard Hays.

Post Commander Joe Upton says this is to be a countywide celebration and all legionnaires able to attend are invited.

The national chaplain, the Rev C.J. (Joe) Olander of Tchula, and the department chaplain, the Rev. Ivor Clark of Macon, as well as department officials will be present for the dedication.

Commander Hays says this will be the first post in Mississippi to be named for a Vietnam veteran. "Lets have a large turn out for this wonderful occasion," he urges.

"There is a newspaper article that my sister [Mary Russell] has and it is about Dickie's Lieutenant coming to visit our mom [she passed in 2009] and the struggle he had just to come and see her and tell her some stories of our brother and how he was killed. Until he came to see her he never knew if Dickie had received the Bronze Star. He was the one that had put in the recommendation for it. "

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In another note, Gail wrote "I have attached the letter from the Army my sister Mary received when requesting his medals again. It does mention Dickie was authorized the Military Merit Medal and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Unit Citation."

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As a result of the letter above, SP5 Richard Ware was entitled to wear the following medals on his uniform --

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-- and was included in the family's medal shadow frame

Family Shadow Box

Latest events from the family that honor the memory of their brother, Dickie Ware:

From news clipping in local papers dated November 30, 2005: "The American Legion, Richard A. Ware Post 0071, presented Bay Springs High School with a new American Flag on December 1. Richard Ware's mother, Inez Ware, and his sister, Mary, were in attendance as was post commander Cole."

"Richard Ware was a graduate of Bay Springs High School. He was killed in Vietnam on August 24, 1968. Post 71 gave the flag in his honor." See photo and full story here.

Local National Guard Unit welcomed home - The American Legion Post 71 and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 1997, with the overwhelming help of local businesses, churches, and individuals had a great turn out for the "Homecoming Party" for the 1st - 204th ADA, A Battery in Bay Springs, Sunday, March 4, 2012. A special certificate was presented to Mary Ware Russell, sister of Richard A. Ware of whom American Legion Post 71 is named after. Read full story here. In addition, the National Guard Armory that houses Alpha Battery, 1st Battion, 204th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) is located on 174 Dickie Ware Avenue, Bay Springs Mississippi.

On May 22, 2012 an act was approved by Governor to read in part: "BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI: That segment of Mississippi Highway 15 North in Jasper County beginning at the Mississippi Army National Guard Armory and ending at the northern corporate limits of the City of Bay Springs is designated and shall be known as the Richard Alexandra "Dickie" Ware Memorial Highway. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2012." The highway was formally dedicated on December 4, 2012.

His sister wrote, "Yes Dickie is my brother's nickname. We are very honored about the naming of a section of the highway after him. He was one of the first in the area to be killed in Vietnam so this is the beginning of naming sections of the highway after the young men that followed him. Even after all of these years we [my sister and I] are hearing stories about him from all his friends."

-- Ware Family & The Virtual Wall

Richard's name is also posted on the Mississippi Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Ocean Springs, at the bottom panel 20W.

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Roses left below Dickie's photo by family at dedication of Mississippi Veterans Memorial on May 30, 1997

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-- Ware Family & The Virtual Wall


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